Design Function in Innovation Processes


  • Anna Estany Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona



Some words emerge at a given moment to catalyse ideas and give new meaning to old terminology. Innovation and design are two such words. Innovation has traditionally been linked with the Applied Sciences, especially technology, whereas advances in the Pure
Sciences tend to be termed discoveries, inventions, or creations. However, for decades now, innovation has been a leitmotiv in all fields of scientific knowledge in both the Pure and the Applied Sciences. Design has also emerged from the niche it once occupied for decades (and
even centuries) at least insofar as its impact on the History of Science and of Philosophy is concerned. In fact, design’s introduction into the academic world has gone hand-in-hand with Art and its impact on our daily lives. This paper analyses innovation processes in both
the Pure and the Applied Sciences to discover how far new design theories over the last few decades have influenced innovation in fields such as Epistemology and Technology. We focus on Design Epistemology and methodological innovation, specifically in connection
with design simulations and methodological models. We also look at the underlying design technologies and the key role they play in innovation processes.


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Biografies de l'autor/a

Anna Estany, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

She holds a PhD in Philosophy from Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and a Master of Arts degree from Indiana University (The United States). She is currently Full Professor of The Philosophy of Science at the Department of Philosophy at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Her lines of research cover: models of scientific change; the cognitive approach in The Philosophy of Science and Technology; the Philosophy of Design Sciences.


She studied Physics at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). She holds a PhD in Physics from Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata. Rosa is a member of the UPM’s ‘Mathematical Thinking’ group and of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture. She works on small dynamic systems, Celestial Mechanics, and Gravitational Astrophysics, all within the framework of an international European consortium covering development work in the Astro-dynamics field and in collaboration with an Italian inter-university group.


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Com citar

Estany, A. and Herrera, R. M. (2021) “Design Function in Innovation Processes”, Debats. Revista de cultura, poder i societat, pp. 149–162. doi: 10.28939//iam.debats-en.2021-10.